Inspired by its predecessor from the 1930s, the silver C Sonnar T* 50mm f/1.5 ZM from ZEISS is a fast, normal prime for M-mount rangefinder cameras. Its fast f/1.5 maximum aperture and natural perspective make it particularly suitable for portraiture and documentary work, especially in difficult lighting conditions. The 'C' designation of the lens reflects its compact form factor and classic optical design to produce timeless imagery with natural color fidelity and rendering. Also, its Sonnar optical design promotes a high degree of sharpness and flare resistance, and a T* anti-reflective coating is also used to suppress flare and ghosting for high contrast and color clarity.
- Leica M-Mount Lens
- Aperture Range: f/1.5 to f/16
- ZEISS T* Anti-Reflective Coating
- Manual Focus Design
ZEISS C Sonnar T* 50mm f/1.5 ZM Overview
ZEISS C Sonnar T* 50mm f/1.5 ZM Specs
|Lens Mount||Leica M|
|Angle of View||45.7°|
|Minimum Focus Distance||3' / 90 cm|
|Macro Reproduction Ratio||1:15|
|Optical Design||6 Elements in 4 Groups|
|Focus Type||Manual Focus|
|Filter Size||46 mm (Front)|
|Dimensions (ø x L)||2.2 x 1.8" / 56 x 45 mm|
|Weight||8.8 oz / 250 g|
|Package Weight||0.755 lb|
|Box Dimensions (LxWxH)||4.7 x 4.15 x 3.1"|
ZEISS C Sonnar T* 50mm f/1.5 ZM Reviews
I chose this lens because the design has not changed since the 1930's - only glass quality. It is the type of lens used by many photographers of that period and yield a great photograph still today.
Perfect pair with Leica M7
Fast lens ! Intuitive lens to use, ergonomic and mechanically stunning, didnt experience focus shifting, oh and Optically Brilliant!
Just love it
I am using the lens for more than 6 months on my Leica M6 now, so I am not a pixel counter. I just love it shooting it wide open. The colors and the bokeh are a dream. On film, the lens is super sharp. I also never had a problem with the shifting focus described in other reviews. I never had a 50mm summilux, so I can’t compare. But I use this combined with a 90mm summicron and wouldn’t want to give it back. This lens really has a character that’s suits me very well.
This Zeiss Sonnar is an old classic lens made modern. And anyone who shoots "old classic glass" knows that these lenses have a character all their own. Where most lenses crafted today seek to render images anonymously by correcting for a host of sins, the Sonnar is unapologetic, and leaves its big fat signature on every photograph. I own both this Sonnar and the Zeiss f/2 Planar, so I will speak about both here. The Planar is quite simply, without fault. It is wildly accurate in its rendering, sharp at every aperture and delivers perfectly flat (in a good way) images. Some have used the word "clinical" to describe the Planar, and I would have to agree. But again, you can't fault a lens for getting everything right. Where the f/2 Planar is a technician, the f/1,5 Sonnar is something of a poet. This lens is based on a design from the 1930's, which benefits greatly from present day Zeiss T* lens coatings... incredible flare resistance, notably. So, from my experience, until stopped down to about f/5,6: - The Planar is all about reporting exactly what's happening across the frame, and will accomplish this using the most precise tools available - The Sonnar believes that the story is pretty much right there in the center of the frame, that it is always open to artistic expression, and will tell this story using the finest of paint brushes, not drafting tools. At f/5,6 and smaller, the Sonnar moves closer to the Planar and is fully sharp across the frame by f/8. It never quite reaches the Planar's critical sharpness, few lenses do. But this is only recognizable during pixel peeping. Other stuff: Focus shift is the most common complaint I've read about this lens. It's an attribute of the old or classic design. I believe early versions of the "new" Sonnars were optimised for perfect focus at f/2. There was minor front focusing at wider apertures and back focusing at smaller apertures. The shift was no longer visible by f/5.6 or smaller. My copy is optimised @ f/1,5 - and I shoot wide open 75% of the time. I haven't experienced focus shift at other apertures. I love this lens and my Planar is collecting dust. I understand how it might frustrate a shooter who is more attuned to the certainty of a Planar vs the expression of a Sonnar. Pardon the long review!
I've been using this lens for a couple of months now. I can't compare it to the 50mm summilux, since I never used it, but I am super happy. I am using it on a Leica M6. It produces beautiful colors on film. I haven't really recognized a focus shift yet. Even when fully open, everything has been in focus as I wanted it to be. For me, this lens definitely has a character I don't want to miss again. You can check images on my instagram account @phlo.kah All the pictures who have a Leica hashtag
Zeiss nailed it
Not as clinical looking results as my Leica 35mm lux. Exactly what I wanted. It to me, provides artistic nostalgic results not available anywhere else other than pre aspherical used lenses. Zeiss nailed it well done. The lens is sharp don't let anyone tell you otherwise.
Sharp and fast Lens !!! I love it !
Sharp lens for Leica M camera
I am impressed with the sharpness and image quality of the Zeiss Lens. Several drawbacks: The lens focal length doesn't show up in Lightroom and the image trim is less than what you see in the rangefinder when the focus area is less than three feet from the subject.
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